This is a Journal entry by Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Lil's Najopomo #2 - Hallucinations

Post 1

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

I've been an ardent reader of Oliver Sacks ever since "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat" came out. He has a great talent for describing complex neurological problems in layman's language. That book introduced us to the weird world of right-brain deficits.

Last month I was sent out to Presbyterian Hospital, or Prez as the staff call it. I arrived on Sunday evening and was back at Ladera (at my strong insistence) by Wednesday night. I'll write about the whole experience later, but I want to focus on one particular event in this journal.

Wednesday morning at about 2 a.m. I awoke very suddenly to find the whole world trembling. Well, it wasn't the whole world, of course, but had the bed sprouted a massage feature? No, it was just me, trembling. My legs were trembling.
My legs!! My legs, which have shown all the movement of a large boulder since 2009, were trembling. I actually raised my head, looked down (I was lying on my left side) and exclaimed, "What are you guys ~doing~?"

I was expecting the charge nurse at 2 to come and give me a heparin shot, so I lay back, closed my eyes and processed the experience. Occasionally I have experienced a mild proprioceptive hallucination in which I can twirl my feet from the ankles but the experience fades quickly as if the muscles grow tired. So I decided to see whether I could do the twirling thing, to ride this trembling thing, as it were.

Well, holy smiley - bleep! I actually grabbed hold of the bed rail to keep from flying off the bed as my brain seized the opportunity. Of course nothing was happening in reality, but my sense of the matter was that the legs were windmilling as if I were swimming or dancing madly. Let's not do that any more, I suggested to amygdala, but the brain was off and running. I lay there with my eyes closed as my legs strode across the world in huge Paul-Bunyanesque leaps. My legs became a river flowing away from me. They slithered off the side of the bed and formed celtic knots.

It was a trip, man.

The charge nurse was only politely interested in my exhilarated description of the experience; she administered the shot, threw a blanket over me, and went away to her next task. I grabbed my kindle and opened Oliver Sacks' book "Hallucinations" to see whether my little trip fitted into any of the categories into which he divides hallucinatory experiences.

And there it was, a subdivision of phantom limb weirdness. My legs suffer from a reflex paralysis, what we call paraplegia. Yesterday, when I was suffering from major chills, I asked the nurse whether my legs were moving: they were not. The chills were from the waist up only. But the coldness of that hospital room induced shivering, and somehow my brain was aware of the movement and used it to generate phantom gestures, imperfectly remembered skills like walking or sitting up on the side of the bed.

I'm tempted to suggest that my legs be packed with ice bags, to see whether the experience can be duplicated.


Lil's Najopomo #2 - Hallucinations

Post 2

deb - I'm in love with my soup maker & I don't care who knows it

You sound as if you were quite calm through all that - but it sounds freaky. I find it quite scary that the brain can produce so many experiences which don't happen in reality.

Deb smiley - cheerup


Lil's Najopomo #2 - Hallucinations

Post 3

Amy Pawloski, aka 'paper lady'--'Mufflewhump'?!? click here to find out... (ACE)

[Amy P]


Lil's Najopomo #2 - Hallucinations

Post 4

Superfrenchie

smiley - orib


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